Microsoft takes aim at Wii and slashes prices

4 Sep 2008

Expect a battle royale to be joined between Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the innovative Nintendo Wii this Christmas as the Seattle software giant cuts prices of the Xbox to sub-Wii levels.

After cutting prices of the Xbox 360 in Japan earlier in the week, Microsoft yesterday cut the price of the games console in the US to a level that will give parents hard choices in the busy sales season ahead.

Yesterday, Microsoft cut the price of the Xbox 360 Arcade version to US$199 (€137), the Xbox 360 console for US$299.99 (€206) and Xbox 360 Elite for US$399.99 (€275).

Expect a price cut in Europe next as Microsoft prepares to undercut the Wii and unbalance the power of PlayStation 3 in the region.

“We are thrilled to be the first next-generation console on the market to reach $199, a price that invites everyone to enjoy Xbox 360,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice-president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

“Xbox 360 delivers amazing performance at an extraordinary value with the leading online service and best line-up of games, downloadable movies and TV shows available from a console. The majority of consumers make the decision to buy consoles once the price falls to this mark, making this an important milestone for consumers and the industry.”

Microsoft believes that history is on its side. It said that more than 75pc of all console sales happen after the price falls below the US$200 mark.

For millions of consumers who have been waiting for the perfect time to buy an Xbox 360 console, their moment has finally arrived, Mattrick said.

He claimed that at US$199, Xbox 360 is the most affordable next-generation console on the market.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Microsoft Xbox 360 console

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years